'Wagonmasters' deliver school supplies to Iraqi children
January 22, 2010
JEDELLAH SOFLA, Iraq - Members of the 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), delivered boxes of school supplies to Iraqi children Jan. 20 in Jedellah Sofla, a small village near Contingency Operating Location Q-West, Iraq.
Soldiers delivered several boxes filled with pens, paper, crayons and other supplies to the school of about 100 children, said Maj. Scott Wadyko, an operations officer with the 15th Sust. Bde.
"It's building partnership, it's building bridges," said Wadyko, a Jacksonville, Fla., native. "Helping these children learn and making a better life for themselves is our ultimate goal."
The supplies were donated by family and friends around the 15th Sust. Bde.'s home station of Fort Hood, Texas, said Col. Larry Phelps, the brigade's commander and Greenville, Ala., native.
"Everything we brought here today was donated from our families, our friends, in central Texas and from across the country and around the world," Phelps said.
Enough supplies were donated to last the school about two or three years, and the brigade plans to bring more items to the school, including soccer balls, in the coming months, Phelps said.
For some Soldiers, the trip was an opportunity to get away from the daily business on the base.
"It's really interesting - different," said 1st Lt. Meghan Flynn, an operations officer with the Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sust. Bde.
For Flynn, a Blairstown, N.J., native, the best part was handing out the supplies, especially the stuffed animals, and being around the children.
"The kids are adorable," she added.
"[Iraqi children] are the future of Iraq," Phelps said. "We're doing what we can to assist with the future."
Phelps feels confident the supplies will be put to good use, and explained that the local Iraqis, led by Doctor Mohammad, have done an excellent job with the children and the school.
"Looking in those eyes, you can see that the future of Iraq is in good hands," he said.